Saturday, April 30, 2011

Is crop rotation feasible?

Although we only have one long garden bed, I wonder if we can still apply the crop rotation principles and not plant in same area twice in a row? Might be worth experimenting with anyhow.

I like the overview provided on the Gardening Australia website - ideal for four garden beds if you have such a set up. We also tried to rotate our beds when in Canberra, so will revisit some ideas from our successes (and failures!) there. This guide from Harvest to Table is also useful (and mentions that no garden is too small for crop rotation!).

Companion planting is also a good method for gardening and this guide is a good overview if you are interested in trying out the method, as is this guide.

More on that later; until then, happy gardening!

Raised garden bed: no-dig layers

We have finally completed our no-dig garden bed and just in time for some decent rain!

The following pictures depict the layers (as ably demonstrated by our mini-gardener, Clancy), starting with wet newspaper, then sugarcane mulch, homemade compost and a wetting agent, another mulch layer, sheep manure and a dusting of blood and bone, then more mulch to finish.

Layers 1 and 2: Newspaper and sugarcane mulch
Clancy gets started on layer #2

First 2 layers = newspaper (soaked) + sugarcane mulch

Layers 3 and 4: Compost, wetting agent, then more mulch
Raised garden bed - no-dig

Today (and after letting the bed settle for almost 2 weeks) we planted some mini broccoli and mini cauliflower seedlings, plus some fennel. The bed is holding moisture really well - something to be tested this week as the temperatures warm up again to about 27 degrees. The bed also gets a decent 8 hours of sunshine on most of its 5 metre length - another bonus as the weather cools.

The final addition will be a drip hose watering system, for both grey water (filtered) and potable water (although hoping this can be kept to a minimum). We would like to put in a rainwater tank at some point, but that will need further planning (given we are renting). Would ideally love to set up something similar to the greywater system Josh demonstrated on Gardening Australia (2006)!

So far so good! And to all, happy gardening!

Thursday, April 7, 2011